by JAMES P. PINKERTON
If there’s a pipeline of big-money influence into the Biden White House, are we supposed to feel better if the exact nature of the flow within that pipeline is secret?
That’s the strange argument reportedly being made by lawyers for the 46th president, as they grapple with the fact that Hunter Biden plans to make millions as an artist even as, of course, Hunter retains his anointed status as First Son to President Joe Biden. Yes, that’s right — the Biden lawyers think that it will be best if we, the American people, don’t know who’s buying Hunter’s art and for how much.
Interestingly, this cover-up approach seemed to be too much even for the Washington Post, an outlet not normally seen as as a critic of the Biden administration. Under the quippy headline, “Deal of the art: White House grapples with ethics of Hunter Biden’s pricey paintings,” the Post reported on July 8 that Hunter will be free to sell his artwork through a New York City art dealer, so long as he, Hunter, never learns the identity of the purchaser, and so long as the dealer rejects purchasers deemed to be “suspicious.”
We can immediately see that this arrangement is completely unenforceable and in fact impossible to make work. If someone buys a Hunter Biden artwork for six figures (or maybe, who knows, even more), that purchase is not going to stay secret, even in the unlikely event that the purchaser wanted his or her buy to remain secret. After all, most art buyers are sociable enough, living, as they do, in a world of galleries and exhibitions. And of course, plenty of reporters—society gossips as well as political journos—as well as others are curious about anything concerning the First Family.
Furthermore, political influence-buyers actively want their influence to be known—especially with the person they hope to influence. In other words, the fact that big money is gushing toward Hunter Biden is sure to be known–at least to Hunter and to anyone he cares to tell about it.
Yet lest anyone think that the Post report of the unusual secrecy surrounding the First Son’s art sales was somehow fake news, White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended it the following day, declaring that Hunter Biden “has the right to pursue an artistic career.” And she added, “I can tell you that after careful consideration, a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards,”
Perhaps this rickety arrangement is already flunking the reader’s laugh test. And yet, as this author noted back in June, the issue of art-purchasers potentially buying influence in the White House is no laughing matter. So it’s worth digging into the details of the proposed arrangement, as they have been provided to the Post:
White House officials have helped craft an agreement under which purchases of Hunter Biden’s artwork—which could be listed at prices as high as $500,000—will be kept confidential from even the artist himself, in an attempt to avoid ethical issues that could arise as a presidential family member tries to sell a product with a highly subjective value.
So again, that’s the White House’s key idea: Keep the identities of the purchasers away from Hunter lest he wish to help reward them with his presidential pull. And Hunter, of course, has had a long career as a helper for big companies and foreign countries–from Ukraine to China to Mexico–and those deals have been and can still be an embarrassment or worse for Team Biden.
On July 10, a very droll Ian Bremmer, the well-known geopolitical pundit, tweeted a picture of one of Hunter’s art works and added the joke, “I don’t hate this Hunter Biden painting. But for $500,000 I feel like I should also get some of his Ukraine energy expertise thrown in.” The joke being that Hunter has no Ukraine energy expertise.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) also weighed in about “tough” ethical questions surrounding Hunter, who is, Cotton added, “still investing in CCP [Chinese Communist Party]-linked firms.” In other words, according to Cotton, the potential exists for the People’s Republic of China to directly influence Hunter; it could be PRC money flowing through that pipeline to the White House.
I guess this is the latest scheme to feed corruption money to politicians. It used to be multi-million dollar book deal advances on books that inevitably flopped. Now, it’s paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for kindergarten art.
I guess not everyone can get away with a phony “foundation” to launder money like the Clinton’s do.
Liberals accept corruption (and, apparently, election fraud) as a normal state of affairs. All they ask is don’t do it overtly; allow them their plausible deniability so they can pretend they didn’t know and don’t actually condone theft.
I anxiously await some of our leftists coming forth and explaining how this is not corrupt. Should be really enlightening.